Perceiving the locations of sounds

Frequently, we learn of the locations of things and events in our environment by means of hearing. Hearing, I argue, is a locational mode of perceiving with a robustly spatial phenomenology. I defend three proposals. First, audition furnishes one with information about the locations of things and happenings in one’s environment because auditory experience itself has spatial content—auditory experience involves awareness of space. Second, we hear the locations of things and events by or in hearing the locations of their sounds. Third, we auditorily experience sounds themselves as having relatively stable distal locations. I reject skepticism about spatial audition and auditory experience tracing to Strawson’s Individuals , and suggest that spatial auditory experience grounds a form of perceptual access to objects and events that is critical to negotiating one’s environment.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy of Science   Developmental Psychology   Neuropsychology   Epistemology   Cognitive Psychology   Philosophy of Mind
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DOI 10.1007/s13164-009-0001-8
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Ned Block (1995). On a Confusion About a Function of Consciousness. Brain and Behavioral Sciences 18 (2):227-–247.
Austen Clark (2000). A Theory of Sentience. New York: Oxford University Press.

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